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Victorian-Age Conjuring Books

by Thomas A. Sawyer
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Victorian-Age Conjuring Books by Thomas A. Sawyer

A guide for collectors and bibliographers.

This is the first digital-edition of the third edition of Thomas A. Sawyer's Victorian-Age Conjuring Books: A Guide. The first printing of the third edition was a softcover printed book, published in late 2017. That printing consisted of less than 60 copies.

This edition is significantly longer (in terms of the number of words) than the second edition (which itself was longer than the first edition).

In preparing the third edition, Sawyer thoroughly overhauled the second edition (which appeared over 25 years ago), making additions and deletions. The book contains 19 chapters, as well as an appendix dealing with terminology.

The book is well-described by its full title: Victorian-Age Conjuring Books: A Guide for Collectors and Bibliographers. The list of contents (see below) gives a more detailed overview of its contents.


  • Introduction to the Third Edition
  • Introduction to the Second Edition, 1991
  • Introduction to the First Edition, 1988
  • CHAPTER 1 The Origins of the Idea of Conjuring Books
  • CHAPTER 2 Collecting Victorian-Age Conjuring Books
  • CHAPTER 3 The Victorian Age: Confusion and Context
  • CHAPTER 4 Specialization
  • CHAPTER 5 Scarcity, Rarity, and Desirability
  • CHAPTER 6 Condition
  • CHAPTER 7 Some Thoughts on Bibliography
  • CHAPTER 8 Principles of Bibliographical Description
  • CHAPTER 9 The Problem of Errors in Bibliographies
  • CHAPTER 10 The Evaluation of Conjuring Bibliographies
  • CHAPTER 11 Priorities and Pseudo-Priorities
  • CHAPTER 12 Revisiting Editions, Impressions, Issues, and States
  • CHAPTER 13 Techniques for Establishing Dates
  • CHAPTER 14 The Determination of Priorities
  • CHAPTER 15 A Summary of Problems in Establishing Dates
  • CHAPTER 16 Victorian-Age Book-Decoration
  • CHAPTER 17 Victorian-Age Binding Styles on Specific Books
  • CHAPTER 18 Victorian-Age High-Spots
  • CHAPTER 19 The Literature of Magic-Book Collecting
  • APPENDIX Terminology
1st edition 1988; 2nd edition 1991; 3rd edition 2017, 258 pages, including 20 pages of images in color.
word count: 56114 which is equivalent to 224 standard pages of text
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This product is listed in the following categories:

Magic & Conjuring / Biographies & History

Magic & Conjuring / 1800-1899